Power grid to study Right of First Refusal for utilities



While Oklahoma wrestles with the possible idea of Right of First Refusal for utilities planning major transmission line projects, the Southwest Power Pool is examining what has become a controversial issue.

SPP said it is accepting applications to create a pool of industry experts. These experts may be chosen to serve on an independent panel to review competitive transmission construction proposals in 2024.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission is also studying whether to support ROFR, which would allow utilities to avoid competitive bidding on certain large transmission line projects. Consumer groups oppose ROFR, contending it would result in higher costs for ratepayers.

In response to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Order 1000, SPP annually forms a pool of individuals used to create a panel of industry experts. This panel will review, rank, and score proposals for certain transmission projects approved for construction by the SPP board of directors.

Interested candidates must have expertise in at least one of the following areas as it relates to electric transmission:

1.       Engineering design

2.       Project management and construction

3.       Operations

4.       Rate design and analysis

5.       Finance

Applications will be accepted through March 30, 2024. The SPP oversight committee will make a recommendation regarding selection of pool members to be approved by the SPP board of directors later this year.

These positions are considered contract positions and will be compensated through a monthly retainer. If placed on a panel, individuals receive an hourly rate.

More information, including the panelist application and instructions, is at SPP.org under Engineering > Transmission Owner Selection Process > Industry Expert Panel (IEP). Interested parties may also contact Regulatory Analyst Chris Cranford at ccranford@spp.org.

Source: SPP release